The Top 10 Feel Good Songs According to Science

What songs do you like to listen to when you want to feel good?

In 2015 British electronics brand Alba commissioned cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Jacob Jolij to investigate data gathered on the musical preferences of UK residents and their favourite songs to improve their moods.

While a “feel-good” song is very personal because music is closely linked with emotion and memory, Dr. Jolij tells the Telegraph that “there are some key criteria for composers to consider when creating feel good songs – namely lyrical theme, musical key, and tempo”. For example, holiday-themed lyrics generally remind us of happy times, a major key sounds happy, and a quick tempo of 150 beats per minute gives us a sense of energy. Combine these elements together and you have the making of the perfect “feel good” song.

Here are the top 10 feel good tunes from the past half-century according to Dr. Jolij’s analysis.

1) Queen – “Don’t Stop Me Now”

2) Abba – “Dancing Queen”

3) The Beach Boys – “Good Vibrations”

4) Billie Joel – “Uptown Girl”

5) Survivor – “Eye of the Tiger”

6) The Monkees – “I’m a Believer”

7) Cyndi Lauper – “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”

8) Bon Jovi – “Living on a Prayer”

9) Gloria Gaynor – “I Will Survive”

10) Katrina & The Waves – “Walking on Sunshine”

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